British entertainer and singer Des O’Connor(88)dies after fall.

The Irish Times

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Entertainer Des O’Connor died at the age of 88, just days after a fall at his home.

The British TV star, who enjoyed decades in the limelight, died in hospital on Saturday.

O’Connor presented his own prime-time TV shows for more than 45 years. He first fronted his own show in 1963, while the success of his singing career saw him sell 16 million records and spend 117 weeks in the top 10 of the charts.

He had his own US TV programme, and his chat show Des O’Connor Tonight was a British television staple for a quarter of a century.

He also hosted Channel 4 quiz show Countdown with Carol Vorderman, with the pair bowing out together in 2008.

At 72, the chat show host became a father again with his fiancee Jodie Brooke Wilson.

The couple later married, when O’Connor was 75 and Wilson was 38.

He had four daughters from his three previous marriages.

Melanie Sykes, who fronted Today With Des And Mel alongside O’Connor, paid tribute to him, saying it was an “education and a privilege to work with him”.

She wrote on Instagram: “Des had the softest hands of anyone I ever met and the kindest of hearts.

“He had talent in every fibre of his being and was stubborn as a mule. He was the full ticket as a friend and colleague.

He is survived by his wife Jodie, their son Adam and his four daughters, Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina.

– PA

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